At wits end...feeling very low and stressed...and guilty(8 Posts)
I need a bit of a rant more than advice really although if anyone has any it would be much appreciated!
I have a lovely 3.7 yo and a 16 wo. Both are great and have great temperaments (sp.) but lately I am just losing my patience quicker and quicker to the point where I just broke down last night and tonight.
My baby does not seem to like sleeping in the day anymore despite being shattered and I have no idea what has gone wrong. She used to sleep so well and has always slept at night waking just a couple of times for a feed (I am lucky, believe me, I know!) but lately she is just a nightmare napping. She used to fall asleep on the breast and would sleep well for a couple of hours at a time and then sometimes just wake for another feed before sleeping again, however for example, today and yesterday she has literally had 2 20 minute naps which I know is just not enough for her. I have tried my best, I really have but I am already back at work 3 days a week (she comes with me as I am SE) and struggling. My 3 yo is fantastic but just can't leave me alone for 10 mins to try to get her to sleep in our days at home and she is just too nosey when he is around.
She has also started becoming fussy on the breast. And it no longer settles her to sleep. She'll just scream and scream. I wind her and then try to put her back on but she screams. I try putting her down to sleep and she screams.
DH has been working late tonight so I have done bedtime alone.
I feel like a terrible mum as I had to leave my DS in the bath while I tried to settle baby as she was screaming. He ended up getting himself out of the bath, dried himself, brushed his teeth and started reading to himself all while I was trying to settle her. I feel like an awful mum to be honest.
DH and I are clashing big time also as we are just about to exchange on our house so he is spending his free time worrying about that and trying to earn some extra cash so he can have some time off when we move (he's also SE).
Just feel like I'm failing when it all started so well.
I don't think this is down to the kids. I think it's you. How are you feeling? Are you getting any adult time? A break? Are you at work?
I do feel for you op xx
I had been feeling ok, tired but alright and then just lately just stressed that I never have time to get anything done. I try to do something with my DS and the baby needs me. I try to feed baby to sleep and DS needs me. I have been trying to start packing the house but then they both start.
I don't ever get a break as DD is a bottle refuser so literally comes everywhere with me.
She is generally feeding or in the sling when I am at work which is starting to give me backache trying to work at my desk and carry her but she won't sleep any other way.
I am so exhausted by evening that I generally just go to sleep and don't really wind down at all.
I feel for you! I have similarly aged kids (baby is now 5 months) and am also experiencing a lot of what you report and feel. My ds actually said to me today "why do you have that (stressed) face? Why aren't you happy?" And then proceeded to kiss me to make me happy which was very sweet but made me feel so guilty!
Unfortunately for you, you're also having to work and move house so it's no wonder your stress levels are sky high. Have you got any family or friends that can help you out at all? My dd is also ebf and so is surgically attached to me, but when I managed to have a whole hour to myself, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. This time round I think I'm realising the importance of having some time for me and for my dh. All this stress is only putting pressure on our relationship and so we're now having a weekly date night (we do take dd with us and I walk her around before we go to the restaurant to get her to sleep) which is really helping. I think with dd I am going to have to cut back on breastfeeding once she weans, if only to give me a chance to escape and destress.
As for your baby sleeping, what is waking her up? Is she teething? Or windy? I have a fast letdown and my milk production goes into overdrive especially when my dd feeds to sleep and overstimulates production and so she does get very fussy when feeding due to the jets of milk squirting into her mouth. Do you have this problem? I am trying not to feed her to sleep to avoid this problem; instead I use white noise (i have an app on my phone/tablet) and put her in her cot or buggy to sleep. It usually works but I do still give in far too easily.
I really hope that you manage to find some support and time to help you to destress. You're not failing and you're not a terrible mother. You're just having a really tough, stressful time and need a bit of looking after too (or that's what a good friend has told me recently!) Happy to chat more if you think it would help or you want to hear my many terrible mother stories...
I don't think you've done anything wrong, it just sounds like she is going through the 4month sleep regression, my DD went through it too at a similar time and went from napping well to waking up after 20mins no matter how tired she was. I was going through a lot of stressful stuff at time and it all felt so unmanageable, but it is just a phase, my DDs naps started getting longer and more predictable about 2 months after the sleep regression started, although that can vary and some people are lucky and it only lasts a couple of weeks!
Sounds like you are doing brilliant to me though, a nap fighting tired baby is enough to push anyone to the edge!
Thanks citizen I agree with a lot of your post. My DS is such a good, caring boy and it breaks my heart when I snap at him when he isn't doing anything wrong but I am trying to get his sister to sleep or feed her. I have oversupply and a very fast letdown which yes, really doesn't help. Think this is sometimes what upsets her when she is trying to go to sleep as I will see her close her eyes and then suddenly jerk them open when letdown starts. I am going to HV clinic tomorrow for som advice on this.
Unfortunately she will not sleep in the buggy unless I put her in it asleep or practically there. Tried this earlier and she just stared at the sky.
She is happy most of the time despite being shattered but I just worry that she is not getting enough.
Date nights out are not an option at the moment due to money but DH and I really could do with some us time. Maybe we will pop out for a walk at the weekend.
Thanks Cobs, I did wonder about a sleep regression as vaguely remembered that from my DS although she is still sleeping relatively well at night so wasn't sure if that was it?
It's just so frustrating when I have sat for nearly an hour getting her to sleep for her to wake only 15-20 mins later!
I think they all experience it differently, with my DD it definitely effected naps more than night sleeping, maybe in the day it's harder to transition through the 20 minute sleep cycle for your LO like it was for mine? It's so frustrating though, I remember the dissapoibtment when she would after such short naps and I'd spent bloody ages trying to get her down!
The only thing that worked for me (and these changed from week to week as DD liked to keep me on my toes) were:
Naps in the pram (stopped working at about 4.5 months
Naps in bed with me
Naps in the sling (this was the most foolproof one for us but it was almost the death of me, amazing the strength you find when it results in a 90min nap!)
I found this website really helpful to help control my crazy milk production:
I can actually hit the wall 2 metres away with my milk if I don't control it!
If it makes you feel any better, I felt I was at breaking point for several weeks and I am just starting to feel as though I can cope and I'm not a bad mother. I think I'm my own worst critic and that makes it all so much harder as I convince myself I'm doing a terrible job (I also do this at work) which then makes me feel worse. I don't necessarily have the answers as to how to stop this but having told my dh this during my last meltdown, he now has a better understanding of why I am feeling low and that I'm not angry at him (so he's much happier!) and he helps to relieve the pressure and just takes the kids into another room at lets me have some time to breathe. It's not all plain sailing (as there are now other reasons to be stressed) but I do feel better than I did and more able to cope. I hope that things get easier for you
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